Life as we have known it is changing at a rapid pace. Environmental, demographical and technological changes demand that we inspect our ways of living. The following phenomena drive some of the changes – domination of humans over the rest of the natural world that has led to overconsumption of natural resources, overpopulation, the climate crisis, globalization fostered by transfer of goods and services but also by the extensive use of technology by people in many parts of the world. These changes are more rapid, complex and rampant than other in human history.
Such rapid and complex changes demand that we respond with curiosity, a suspension of what we have known up until this point, with creativity, authenticity and responsibility. Among the many movements and efforts underway to bring about a change in our responses to these changes, education holds the power to bring about a transformation from the inside out. It can, if considered differently, transform the very ways in which we relate, feel, think, understand, respond and act.
Education up until now has been about amassing knowledge and developing specific skills towards the ultimate goal of success as defined by material gains and societal status. Such education has contributed to individual success at the cost of the health of the planet and the well being of communities around the world. It is time we inspected and changed the philosophical basis and goals of education. I believe it is time to envision an education that is based on these values …
- Thoughtful integration of spirit, heart, mind, and body
- The use of many languages for thinking and collaborating, including visual and graphic arts, building and construction, music, dance, poetry, computer languages . . .
- Attention to movement and to physicality
- The embracing of the natural world as our home-place
- An emphasis on critical thinking and inquiry rather than on topical learning and assessment
- The acknowledgement that relationship is at the heart of learning and teaching—indeed, at the heart of life
These values form the basis of the Art of Education practice in supporting parents, students and working with schools to make education a transformative process.